Top Five Wednesday; The Autumn Cosies

It's Wednesday and perhaps time for a new Top Five Wednesday post, courtesy of the Goodreads group with the same name. The theme of the week was the autumn cosie, as it was officially autumn yesterday.

Here's my picks.

The Hocus Pocus Magic Shop by Abigail Drake
Description from Goodreads

When chemist Grace O’Leary finds a book of magic spells hidden in her Aunt Lucy’s run-down magic shop, the scientist in her itches to try them out. She mixes up a batch of love potions as a joke, and has to face the consequences when they actually seem to work.

Her dream of becoming a professor is in peril, and time is running out to finish research for her dissertation. She can't handle any more distractions, but the magic shop is on the verge of closing, her aunt has become forgetful and confused, and a handsome reporter named Dario Fontana keeps sniffing around for a story. The last thing she needs is for him to find out about the love potions and expose her as fraud, but she begins to trust him, and the sizzling chemistry between them is soon too powerful to deny.

With her personal and professional life in chaos, and her budding relationship with Dario in jeopardy, Grace is faced with a difficult choice. Fixing what is broken means going against every logical bone in her body. Can Grace learn to silence her scientific brain long enough to accept the truth about magic…and also about herself?

The Legend of Decimus Croome: A Halloween Carol by Kevin Purdy
Description from Goodreads

Decimus Croome is a dastardly curmudgeon who hates all holidays but especially despises Halloween. He is content to live in his gloomy old house and avoid all human contact whenever possible. He even shuns his own daughter and grandson. But Croome's life changes one memorable Halloween when four ghastly spirits visit him to reveal the misery he has inflicted upon his friends, neighbors and family members.

Based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, The Legend of Decimus Croome is bound to become a Halloween classic for readers of all ages. Follow old man Croome as he is visited by the lovely but disturbing spirit of his dearly departed wife. She warns him of three spirits yet to follow. And oh what spirits they are. Each one is more frightening than the last as they deliver a chilling message for Croome and his fellow Halloween humbugs.

The Ghost of Halloween Past is a truly horrifying yet disturbingly hilarious spirit who delivers Croome to his distant and not-so-distant past. Along the journey, Croome is warmed with nostalgia then terrified by painful memories from Halloweens gone by.

The second spirit is a shape-shifting witch who breaks every stereotype about witches while nearly driving Croome insane with her wild antics and slapstick delivery. As the Ghost of Halloween Present, she takes Croome on a crazy magic carpet ride that reveals his negative influence on those closest to him. The witch also introduces Croome to the magic of Halloween on enchanted visits further afield.

The third phantasm delivers the final glimpse of Croome's diabolically repulsive life and the future that is in store for him if he doesn't change his wicked ways. Croome is forced to confront the impending consequences of his cruel and heartless lifestyle. He is spirited away to a bleak future including a terrifying visit to a desolate cemetery.

Throughout this delightful and spooky Halloween novel, you will be haunted by ghosts, inspired by a brave young leukemia patient and entertained by a precocious feline named Black Magic.

Join Tommy Bobbich, Decimus Croome and a whole cast of ghosts, witches and ghouls in this modern day holiday story that is sure to provide you with chills, laughs and even a few touching moments as you read The Legend of Decimus Croome: a Halloween Carol. You will never look at Halloween the same again.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
Description from Goodreads

New York Times bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn't think—she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with "the smiling man," a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she's been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn't have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: "Best get moving. At nightfall they'll come for the rest of you." Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie's previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver's warning. As the trio head out into the woods--bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them--the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: "Avoid large places. Keep to small."

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard by Ellen Byron
Description from Goodreads

Maggie Crozat, proprietor of a historic Cajun Country B&B, prefers to let the good times roll. But hard times rock her hostelry when a new cell phone app makes it easy for locals to rent their spare rooms to tourists. With October--and Halloween--approaching, she conjures up a witch-crafty marketing scheme to draw visitors to Pelican, Louisiana.

Five local plantation B&Bs host "Pelican's Spooky Past" packages, featuring regional crafts, unique menus, and a pet costume parade. Topping it off, the derelict Dupois cemetery is the suitably sepulchral setting for the spine-chilling play Resurrection of a Spirit. But all the witchcraft has inevitably conjured something: her B&B guests are being terrified out of town by sightings of the legendary rougarou, a cross between a werewolf and vampire.

When, in the Dupois cemetery, someone costumed as a rougarou stumbles onstage during the play--and promptly gives up the ghost, the rougarou mask having been poisoned with strychnine, Maggie is on the case. But as more murders stack up, Maggie fears that Pelican's spooky past has nothing on its bloodcurdling present.

The Mint Julep Murders by Angie Fox
Description from Goodreads

For Southern girl Verity Long, friendship means sitting down to stories and sweet tea on the front porch. For her gangster ghost housemate, it means dragging Verity out to a remote haunted asylum during a raging thunderstorm to do a favor for a long-dead mob boss.

But Verity is always ready to help out a friend, even one as eternally eccentric as Frankie. And in the case of Mint Julep Manor, the stakes are too high to refuse. The criminally insane mob boss holds a secret to Frankie’s past, one that might set Frankie free. Do the favor—survive the favor—and they might change Frankie’s afterlife for good. Fail, and they might never leave the asylum.

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